Embassies in Brussels to open doors to general public for first time during Heritage Days
This year's Heritage Days in the Belgian capital of Brussels during the weekend of September 17 and 18 will see many embassies open their doors to the general public for the first time.
Diplomats from all over the world work and stay in Brussels, often in very unique buildings. During the 2022 edition of the Heritage Days, also known as the Open Monuments Days, some of these will open their doors to the public, something that is expected to become an annual tradition.
"It is a first this year that many embassies are opening their doors to the general public. This year, about 20 embassies will open their doors, and the intention is that, from now on, embassies will open their doors during Heritage Days every year," State Secretary for Town Planning and Heritage Pascal Smet said.
Last year, the so-called "off programme" element of the event saw citizens open their own heritage to the public last year, which turned out to be a very popular initiative. This year, embassies will show off their cultural richness.
According to Smet, 19 embassies have agreed to participate, "demonstrating their willingness to engage with life in Brussels." Brussels residents can also once again open up their homes or show visitors around their gardens.
This year's edition will also centre around the theme "Traces of Colonisation," in response to the report on the decolonisation of public space that experts commissioned by urban.brussels presented earlier this year.
Brussels residents and visitors alike will be able to discover the "traces of colonisation" in the city through guided visits and walks.
"This ties in with our commitment to raising awareness and addresses the need to reflect on and provide information about the past in order to better understand the future," Managing Director of urban.brussels Bety Waknine said.
Find out more about the man who gave his name to the Hotel Van Eetvelde, what the functions of the Leverhouse on the Place du Congrès were and what type of Congolese woods Victor Horta used to create his masterpieces.
"The Heritage Days are a unique opportunity to delve into an important part of our history. Not necessarily to pass judgment, but to learn more about it and understand it better," Smet said.
Reservations are necessary for certain locations and activities. Booking is possible from September 1.
Heritage Days 2022 banner fragment © Heritage Days Brussels 2022 / urban.brussels